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Best hi-fi concert earplugs

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I don't know if this is the right subforum so if I posted this incorrectly please move it. I know other people have asked this in the past but those topics are years old and I don't know if any new products came out since then. I am looking for the best hi-fi earplugs that would be ideal for concerts. I want to protect my ears but the sound quality is even more important to me. What are best hi-fi earplugs that would allow me to hear the best range of sound while having protection? Whats the best sub $50 and + $50 options? Thank you.
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolpepper43 View Post

I don't know if this is the right subforum so if I posted this incorrectly please move it. I know other people have asked this in the past but those topics are years old and I don't know if any new products came out since then. I am looking for the best hi-fi earplugs that would be ideal for concerts. I want to protect my ears but the sound quality is even more important to me. What are best hi-fi earplugs that would allow me to hear the best range of sound while having protection? Whats the best sub $50 and + $50 options? Thank you.

 

off the top of my head there are 2 universal ear plugs in the $20 range

comply foam plugs and vmoda faders

 

if you want something better but more expensive, quite a few ciem companies make custom ear plugs

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am not really interested in custom molded earplugs. Anything that is universal or small, medium, large. Thanks.
post #4 of 24
EtyPlugs by Etymotic are designed for what you want.

http://www.etymotic.com/hp/er20.html

I use them for riding the train, among other things, and they do a very good job of quieting things down, without muffling anything. I think they'd be a good pick for concerts as well. That said, if the concerts are *very* loud, they might not offer adequate protection on their own; just something to think about.

Ety has this neat little applet to help figure it out:
http://www.etymotic-media.com/sliderule/
Edited by obobskivich - 4/6/13 at 3:38pm
post #5 of 24

I'll give a second thumbs up for the Etyplugs. I use mine when running ourdoor power equipment.

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replys. I used to own hearos high-fidelity earplugs. I thought they were pretty good but I lost them and I am trying to see if there is anything better out there for full range sound.
http://www.hearos.com/products/high-fidelity
Has anyone tried these hearos and compaired them to what else is on the market? The er20s and the vmodas look like good options. I think 20db might be enough however if there are any other hi-fi earplugs that block more dbs I would like to know. Is there anything else that I should look into?
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolpepper43 View Post

Thanks for the replys. I used to own hearos high-fidelity earplugs. I thought they were pretty good but I lost them and I am trying to see if there is anything better out there for full range sound.
http://www.hearos.com/products/high-fidelity
Has anyone tried these hearos and compaired them to what else is on the market? The er20s and the vmodas look like good options. I think 20db might be enough however if there are any other hi-fi earplugs that block more dbs I would like to know. Is there anything else that I should look into?

The problem is, if you reduce too much noise you'll have problems enjoying a concert - a normal concert shouldn't be >130 dB or anything like that, so 10-20 dB of reduction is more than appropriate to bring things down to a safe level for an hour or two.
post #8 of 24

What's most important is that you bring some form of hearing protection to a concert and use them properly.

 

There should be videos on youtube about how to roll and insert foam earplugs properly. If you insert them incorrectly, your noise protection can be very close to zero. Use them properly, and you can get up to 40 dBA of protection.

 

The etymotic er20 should be sufficient (rated at 12 dBA, real world protection is closer to 16 dBA if you use them correctly).

 

For a 2 hour concert, er20's should be sufficient (102 dBA - 16 = 86 dBA for 2 hours). If you are staying longer or want more protection, try the foamies.

 

Personally, I don't like the hearos; they can be uncomfortable over extended periods. I prefer howard leights.
 

Foam earplugs aren't designed for music, but some rock and electronic performances are so treble heavy, foam earplugs can still be a good choice anyway.


Edited by newphones - 4/6/13 at 7:02pm
post #9 of 24

I keep meaning to try the Vmoda Faders. I have no excuse really. They're pretty cheap :'( 

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyones input. I will probably need to buy two sets of earplugs. One for short shows 1-2 hours and one for longer shows such as festivals. What do you think would be best for 2-8 hours of music? I could bring both and trade them out depending how much I like the band that is playing at the time. What do you recommend that would be safer for long shows without making the sound muddy? Thanks again!
post #11 of 24

Your best bet is custom moulded earplugs. Those will give you approx. 25-28 dBA of hearing protection. More protection than er-20's by a fair amount, and probably far more comfortable than foam earplugs for extended wear. The er-20's are often, but not always adequate.

 

The custom plugs are a wise investment.
 

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolpepper43 View Post

Thanks for everyones input. I will probably need to buy two sets of earplugs. One for short shows 1-2 hours and one for longer shows such as festivals. What do you think would be best for 2-8 hours of music? I could bring both and trade them out depending how much I like the band that is playing at the time. What do you recommend that would be safer for long shows without making the sound muddy? Thanks again!

As long as you bring your exposure down to ~80 dB or less, you're fine - you should not need an NRR of 30 (or thereabouts) to go to a concert safely, and if you do, I'd rethink the concerts you're going to. ph34r.gif
post #13 of 24

True. However, many nightclubs have a sound level of 100 dBA or higher, on average. ER20's with an NRR rating of 12 dBA, or about 16 dBA used properly, are not quite sufficient.

 

102 dBA - 12/16 = 90/86 dBA.

 

Sound levels can be even higher still at some rock concerts, depending on the genre, band, how close you are to the stage/speakers.

 

Custom moulded earplugs with an NRR rating of 25-28 dBA are the best choice.

 

But, since OP says he won't get them, foam earplugs are the better bet for clubs and rock concerts.
 

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by newphones View Post

True. However, many nightclubs have a sound level of 100 dBA or higher, on average. ER20's with an NRR rating of 12 dBA, or about 16 dBA used properly, are not quite sufficient.

102 dBA - 12/16 = 90/86 dBA.


 

That's just disgustingly loud. eek.gif

I mean 85-90 dB is fine for a few hours of exposure, but even still - I'd want my L3s if I was going into such a loud venue...popcorn.gif
post #15 of 24

Surefire EP5 has a supposed NRR of ~28dBA.  Cheap like the ER20 off of Amazon.  Add a Peltor H10A earmuff if you need more, LOL!

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